case study

Developing and supporting the Fintech’s charity which has raised over 22 million for charities.

The Pennies Foundation is a charity, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, which has created Pennies, the digital charity box. Pennies is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, designed to fit with our increasingly cashless lifestyles, which gives people the opportunity to donate a few pence to charity when paying by card.

Our vision is that wherever consumers make a payment, whether online, in shops or even on their mobile phones they are given the opportunity to donate a few pennies to charity with the single press of a button or click of a mouse. That vision is becoming a reality.

If every card holder donated 30p a month, it would raise £150 million a year for charity.

Why Wirebox?

Pennies’ strategy was to develop their own products for contracted merchants, developing their own plugins for e-commerce platforms such as Magento.

They had an API for 4 years but it was not the key focus for on-boarding merchants. Their focus had changed to engage more Tier 1 and Tier 2 merchants which would require the API to be be robust and handle more requests.

The API required more functions such as more detailed reporting and with the increase in mobile payments for retailers, it had to handle this

Our Approach

Wirebox have been supporting Pennies for over 4 years, managing their API infrastructure on AWS supporting any issues and helping onboard any new clients.

 

The Project Inlcuded:

  • Multi-currency reports Allow the API to accept multi currency reports.
  • Additional Security Adding increased security to calls in the API.
  • Server Infrastructure change The current API ran on one server. We split up to database and webservers. This added redundancy and speed. Using Amazon’s Relational Database Service, helped reduce redundancy.
  • Automation of AWS Servers Restructure the AWS servers so that in case of issues, servers are automatically deployed in case of failure of the main server.
  • Monitoring Setup of all monitors for elements like CPU, response time and API calls. This will help detect an issue before there is a problem. With the automation, any issues can deploy a new server.

Outcomes

Our Approach Delivered:

  • Target Tier 1 – Tier 2 merchants Pennies in the past were held back when trying to get their API integrated into large retailers. Many of their systems, have long roadmaps and the testing is extreme.
  • With the new API which was tested and proved to be redundant, it had a lot less chance off affecting the retailers main e-commerce functionality
  • Target Tier 1 – Tier 2 merchants The new API was tested and benchmarked using a variety of testing platforms including Apache Bench. The system was tested to able to handle 1200 donations a second which would allow about 10 Millions donations a day.
  • Improved Reporting Reporting improved dramatically, different users could access the reports and more details on the reports were able to be exported from the system.
  • Performance increase With the infrastructure change, the API was faster as well as more redundant. With monitoring on each system, Database, Web server, etc. The systems could be checked and notified of any issues

My charity has worked with Wirebox for over 3 years. Their expertise, attention to detail and help have been invaluable to us.

Chris Hawkins

Pennies
Technical Implementation Manager

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